334 Egypt and the Byzantine Empire governors in face of the Arabs paralysed the defence and con- duced to the success of the invaders. Another administrative change was made not by Diocletian but by his successors. At some time shortly before A.D. 310 the immemorial division of Egypt into nomes, governed, during the Graeco-Roman period, by civil strategi, ceased, administratively, to exist, though they continued to figure in the general con- sciousness as geographical units. The nome, divided into num- bered pagi, each under a praepositus, became simply the territory of the metropolis, which in this way at last received full muni- cipal status and was financially responsible for the whole area. In the period of the Antonines this change of status might have been received with enthusiasm, but the economic decline of Egypt had by this time proceeded so far that little gratifica- tion can have been given even to the municipal pride of the citizens by a measure which, in so far as it was more than formal, can only have increased their burdens. All through the third century it had grown steadily more difficult either to secure candidates for the municipal magistracies and liturgical posts or to cover the routine expenses of administration. A raising of rates which the papyri reveal for not a few taxes is perhaps more apparent than real, being designed to bring the payments into juster relation to the diminished value of money, and some taxes seem to have been discontinued. Thus the poll-tax, so impor- tant in the first and second centuries, though, strangely enough, it survived the Constitutio Antoniniana, played little part in this period, and there is no direct evidence for its collection after the middle of the century. It was, however, to an impost of a different kind, the annona militaris, that the government had recourse in its difficulties. Originally an exceptional charge, it now became a regular feature of the financial system, and its irregular incidence and varying amount made it so burdensome that it was probably among the chief cau.es of the peasant revolts which characterized this century.